This tart is a pleasant change from round or rectangular tarts and has the added advantage of being able to be made in any size required, from small, serving just one person to large, serving eight. Of course, if you’re feeling peckish, then one person could probably eat a large one, but I’m going to pretend I never said that – I’d hate to put ideas in your head.
This tart is also infinitely customisable. The original recipe (Harris & Borella, All About Pastries, c1900) filled the segments with delicately coloured and flavoured whipped cream, which makes for a wonderfully light and airy treat. For the photo above, I chose an 18thC recipe for a dairy-free whip. Similarly, fresh summer berries or indulgent fruit conserves are both equally appropriate.
Sultan Cream Tart
This enriched shortcrust pastry is halfway between pastry and shortbread: very crisp and friable and a great contrast with the buttery, puff pastry.
170g plain flour
125g unsalted butter
15g caster sugar
1 large yolk
ice water to mix
- Put the flours, yolk, sugar and butter into the bowl of a food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- With the machine running, gradually add the cold water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture comes together in a ball.
- Tip the mixture onto a floured surface, knead smooth then roll out to a thickness of 5mm.
- Transfer to a board, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
To assemble the tart
1 sheet of ready rolled puff pastry
1 large yolk whisked with 1tbs water for glazing
- Remove the chilled pastry from the fridge and cut out into circles of the desired size, 15-25cm in diameter.
- Prick all over with a fork, to prevent blistering, and brush the surface with water.
- Unroll the puff pastry. Each tart will require 5 strips of 1cm width, and 2 strips of 2cm width.
- Place the 1cm strips of puff pastry as follows, laying two strips down the middle with a small gap in-between, as shown.
- Lay the two, 2cm strips around the edge to form a rim. Have the ends start/finish at the top/bottom of the pastry as shown.
- Trim the pastry ends neatly.
- Return the pastries to the fridge and chill until firm. When thoroughly chilled, transfer each tart to a separate piece of parchment paper. using a sharp knife, cut down between the two vertical strips of pastry, and draw each half apart.
- Heat the oven to 205°C/185°C Fan. Brush all the puff pastry edges with egg glaze and bake them until puffed and golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
These pastries can be made and finished with the glaze/nuts the day before they are required, and kept – carefully – in an airtight container until needed. Fill just before serving.
toasted, flaked almonds
75g apricot jam – warmed with 2tbs water
fillings of choice
- Warm the jam with the water and whisk until smooth. Brush the semicircular rim with glaze and smother with toasted almonds.
- Brush the glaze over the three dividing bars and smother with chopped pistachio nuts.
- Fill as desired and serve at once.